Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Easter of Pysanky

Nana brought her egg decorating kit, which she had housed in her garage for years.  Every year she took it out with intentions to decorate eggs in this method.  And each year she put it back because it would be "too much work."

This year we stuck it out.  And with amazing results.

Pysanky is the Ukrainian method of decorating eggs.  It is translated as "to write," as you draw lines with bees wax.  It is extremely time consuming, but yields beautiful results. 

There is also an interesting amount of folklore attached to them.
"Pysanky with spiral motifs were the most powerful, as the demons and other unholy creatures would be trapped within the spirals forever. A blessed pysanka could be used to find demons hidden in the dark corners of your house."

"Pysanky held powerful magic, and had to be disposed of properly, lest a witch get a hold of one. She could use the shell to gather dew, and use the gathered dew to dry up milk cows. The witch could use bits of the eggshell to poke people and sicken them. The eggshell had to be ground up very finely (and fed to chickens to make them good egg layers) or broken into pieces and tossed into a running stream."

Silly, right? (taken from wikipedia)

Boiled eggs, apparently, dry up into nothing and leave just the shell.  I always thought they would spoil.  Alas, they do not.  Well, we shall see what happens with these.

And of course, there were some casualties . . .

And we will definitely repeat this next year.  With a little more know-how.

And it was a lot of work.  And very time consuming.

For more information on Pysanky, click here.

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